03 Jul 2013

Prevent Losses – Account for All Closing Expenses before the TFR

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Trustee Tip:

Prevent Losses – Account for All Closing Expenses before the TFR

At the end of a case unaccounted closing expenses can really add up. For a trustee to try and recoup some of these out of pocket expenses, forecasting and entering in expenses correctly can help. Unfortunately, these expenses are often forfeited once the TFR is run and the final claims total is fixed.  Since expense claims cannot be adjusted after the TFR is submitted, many trustees lose out on allowed and reimbursable costs. Over time, case closing expenses can add up to significant losses to a trustee.

To help prevent these types of losses, take notes keeping track of ALL the expenses your office incurs during a case closing.  Create a list of these typical expenses and keep it handy.  Then, when prepping the TFR, enter the list of closing expenses. Also keep in mind the type of case (number of checks, creditors, etc.).

The following is a short list of expenses to consider:

  • Postage to mail checks
  • Photocopying of letters included with checks
  • Envelopes
  • Labels
  • Copies of TDR
  • Printing of bank documents (such as check images)
  • Noticing costs
  • Paralegal expenses (where allowed)

A trustee may enter closing expenses prior to the TFR filing by tracking them in CaseLink Office or CaseLink Web. This type of planning will help to ensure you get complete reimbursement for all of your out-of-pocket expenses.

CaseLink Office

To keep track of this in CaseLink Office go to Case Expenses then click New (as shown below).  Enter the expense and then add the detail to the Description section reflecting that the entry is a closing related cost to the estate.

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CaseLink Web

To track expenses in CaseLink Web go to Case Fees and Expenses.  Go to Select Action and choose New Trustee Expense (as shown below). Enter the expense and then add details to the Comment section reflecting that the entry is a closing related cost to the estate.

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The steps outlined above can help to recoup and prevent financial losses from happening. At the end of a case, when all expenses are accounted for, the effort expended to include these closing expenses upfront will have been worth it.

If you have any questions on how to track expenses in CaseLink Office or CaseLink Web, contact the BMS Support Center via email or call 800-634-7734 ext. 6.

How do you currently track your closing expenses? Are there other features you use regularly to help increase your productivity and the bottom line for your Chapter 7 practice? Please share your tips and comments below.

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